Thursday, October 17, 2013

Reversal of Fortune: The Performance of a Prophet

Chapter 5, Mary Donovan Turner, “Reversal of Fortune: The Performance of a Prophet” pp. 87-98

Turner views the spoken word as especially important in the context of deliverance from bondage. As her example she uses the brief song of Miriam from Exodus 15:20-21. Turner’s theological bias is clearly revealed on p. 88 with her key question, “What is the relationship between ritual performance and the quest for justice, the overthrowing of bondage, and God’s constant striving to reverse the fortunes of the poor and oppressed among us?”

Turner continues to articulate a view of ritual as something reated by humans to meet our deep-seated needs to overcome the oppression of our past. Without such rituals we will apparently fall back into bondage. These rituals, such as Miriam’s song, enable us to create a story of freedom from our former oppression. In effect, we would not be free from bondage without a ritual song.

Turner takes as a thesis that the liberal accretive theories of development of biblical texts are accurate. She also sees the world through the lens of feminist liberation theology. Without those presuppositions she would not have a message in this chapter.

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